Year of the Rabbit 2023 Yiwu Raw Puer
$3.50 – $245.00
- How to Brew (Dragon Balls)
- About the Land
- Additional information
- Reviews (2)
A yearly standard in our spring puer collection, this daily drinker of a tea represents everything an Yiwu tea should be, with a pleasant fragrance, soft character and underlying sweetness.
The overall quality and character of this tea remains consistent year on year, however, each year’s weather still puts its own stamp on things. For those who have picked up our Tiger, Bull, Rat or even earlier pressings, this makes for a great vertical comparison and demonstrates just how much of an impact weather can have on the results.
With 2023 being an exceptionally dry year, this year’s Rabbit produces a soup that is full, but still gentle. The body and texture are quite nice, and bitterness and astringency are kept very low. The initial sweetness leans more towards a sugary quality as well.
Although our 2020 Rat and 2021 Bull also experiences a dry spring, this tea stands out as being more balanced. The flavour is dense and unique, but with less bitterness, making it most similar to the 2018 Dog, which up until now was our favourite pressing.
Our experience storing this tea over the last 10+ years has been the development of even more noticeable honey and fruit notes within 3-5 years.
In previous years (2017-2018) we tested this tea against the EU Maximum Residue Limit (MRL) of 191 and 440+ pesticides, both passing with ease. Although this particular year’s tea has not been tested, the tea is from the same land and our confidence in this tea and relationship with the farmer remains strong. If you would like a copy of the lab results for previous years, please contact us.
Picking period: 1st and 2nd flush, March 20-30
Many of our samples for spring 2023 are in dragon ball form. While these balls will perform the same as the cake, they can be slightly trickier to brew. Here’s how we do it:
As we highlight each year, a big draw with this tea is the quality of material used. The trees were planted by this farmer’s family over 45 years ago, at which point plantation style terraces were more common. However, since the 2000s, these trees have been converted to fangyang (放养, or “left to grow”). This means no pesticides, weed killer, pruning, fertilizers or over-picking.
While this style of farming isn’t ideal for producing maximum output, it does contribute to much higher quality tea than neighboring taidi productions, which adhere to conventional farming methods. The other downside is that the trees left to grow taller on their own tend to compete for space and may require relocation, which isn’t always successful. Additionally, manual weeding is a laborious task that takes at least a month each year to complete. Picking tall trees, even if they’re only middle-aged, is also a more difficult task than pruned bushes.
But if we had our way, every tea would be like this. The deeper roots and more concentrated yield produce a tea richer in fragrance and flavour than typical plantation productions in this price range. And of course, all this without the presence of any pesticides or harmful substances.